A leading lawyer to the financial services industry, H. Rodgin Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell, shares some of his wisdom.
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* Georgetown Law is teaming up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to open a low bono law firm. The firm will provide two things for those in need: affordable legal services and jobs to bolster GULC’s employment stats. [Am Law Daily]
* Michigan Law will provide summer funding for all of its 1Ls for law-related internships — but there’s a catch. The cash is a loan, and students may have to pay it back if they earn Biglaw money the following summer. [Michigan Law]
* Judge Jed Rakoff sounded off on the judicary’s problem with mass incarceration at a recent conference at Harvard Law, calling for his colleagues and bar associations across the nation to take a stand for the accused with a gentler justice system. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “It’s positive news. I think it indicates there’s some slight opening of financial services to marijuana-related businesses.” Some banks have finally decided to provide services to weedpreneurs, but others are leaving marijuana moguls high and dry. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Students should seriously consider going to law school in a state where they plan to practice law.” Unless you like wasting your time, you’d do well to listen to this advice, even if you’re going to a school with national name recognition. [U.S. News & World Report]
Another significant hurdle to running a marijuana business — even if it’s legal in your state.
* If you’re a law student in Philadelphia or D.C., come hang out with us this week. RSVP to tomorrow’s Philly event here. [Above the Law]
* Or RSVP to Thursday’s D.C. trivia night here. [Above the Law]
* Judge Jed Rakoff explains exactly why innocent people plead guilty for all those people who don’t believe it. Well, the people who don’t believe it probably don’t read the New York Review of Books, but maybe John Oliver will have Judge Rakoff on so this can go viral. [The New York Review of Books]
* The sex, lies (about polygamy), and videotape article from this morning raises another important issue I’d missed: the heightened stigma faced by women with substance abuse issues. [Law and More]
* 10 thoughts on business development. Don’t do what the guy in the last story did. [Medium]
* Adjunct law professor threatens to quit. Law school dean surely replies, “You must not know ’bout me.” [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* Georgia state legislature has the novel idea to punish the people who exploit student athletes as opposed to only the athletes themselves. Too bad that doesn’t apply to the universities. [The Legal Blitz]
* Five years after New York State required banks to negotiate in “good faith” with homeowners facing foreclosure, the Second Department approved a sanction for banks that ignore this obligation. The 2009 law created the “good faith” obligation but contained no remedy for violations. That left trial judges without guidance as to how to proceed when faced with an intransigent bank. [WiseLaw NY]
* Two women will be making their oral argument debuts before the Supreme Court this week. One of them will be arguing two cases in the span of a month, which is absolutely insane. [National Law Journal]
* Big banks are putting aside big money for legal costs: Citi squirreled away an extra $600 million, RBS is ready to hand over $600 million, and Barclays has $800 million on tap. [DealBook / New York Times]
* In preparation for the prestige frenzy come March 2015, law schools will have about three weeks to complete their survey information for the annual U.S. News law school rankings. [Morse Code / U.S. News]
* The controversial, anti-gay Trinity Western University Law School may not be able to open after all. The B.C. Law Society just voted to overturn its prior approval of the school’s accreditation. [CBC News]
* It seems the United States isn’t the only place where recent law school graduates are struggling to find jobs. In Japan, newly licensed lawyers can’t find work either. Saitei, my friends, saitei. [Japan Times]
* Will we have a nominee for Attorney General Eric Holder’s position “shortly after the election”? Per a White House spokesperson, our lame-duck Congress might just get a chance to confirm America’s next top lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]
* In the wake of an associate general counsel’s suicide last week, Deutsche Bank has taken steps to further separate its legal and compliance teams to tamp down on its “legal and regulatory headaches.” Well then. [Corporate Counsel]
* David Tresch, Mayer Brown’s former chief information officer, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role in bilking the firm out of $4.8 million. Hey, it could’ve been worse, says his lawyer, whose client got off relatively easily. [Am Law Daily]
* Thanks to the rise of the “energy phenomenon,” law schools have started to offer various classes focusing on oil and gas law in the hopes of making their graduates employable. Good luck with that. [Times Online]
* If you plan to retake the LSAT, you need to study smarter. Don’t sweat it too much, though — it’s not like you’ve got a lot of competition trying to apply to law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Some observers do not appreciate the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Delphic pronouncements on a slew of hot-button issues. [New York Times]
* The New York Court of Appeals does international banks a solid — but is it bad policy? [Reuters]
* Fired Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi hires Dentons to sue CBC, which dismissed him over allegations of sexual misconduct. [American Lawyer]
* Is post-Citizens United money polluting judicial elections? [New York Times via How Appealing]
* An Englishman sues Sotheby’s, alleging that the auction house negligently failed to inform him that a painting he sold through Sotheby’s was by Caravaggio and worth millions. [BBC]
* If you’re a lawyer looking for extra income, check out Avvo’s new service, which offers consumers on-demand legal advice for a fixed fee. [Law Sites via ABA Journal]
* Is it reversible error for a judge to refuse to ask voir dire questions related to sexual-preference prejudices? [Southern District of Florida via How Appealing]
ATL Academy For Private Practice Volume 1 – Getting Started offers a mix of deeply informed, sometimes contrarian, but always thoughtful insight into meeting the challenges of starting and optimizing your own practice. Click here to download.
Would you want to be a part of a program like this if you could?
Two observers of the legal industry argue that when it comes to legal spending, sometimes less is more.
When a lawyer hears a company tout good financial news, it’s time to scour the latest filings for all the warts.
American Bar Association / ABA, Banking Law, Biglaw, China, Contract Attorneys, Crime, Document Review, Job Searches, Law Schools, Lawyerly Lairs, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Public Interest, Real Estate, Sex Scandals, Wall Street
* Stan Stallworth, the Sidley partner accused of sexual assault, has hired a prominent criminal defense attorney to represent him in the case while the firm stands by its man. [Am Law Daily]
* Wall Street regulators are considering approval of a formidable version of the Volcker Rule that would ban banks from proprietary trading. Voting occurs later today. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Skadden Arps has asked a judge to toss an FLSA lawsuit filed against the firm by one of its document reviewers. Aww, silly contract attorney — there’s no way you’re getting overtime pay. [Law360 (sub. req.)]
* Weil Gotshal is still leaking like a sieve. This time, Bruce Colbath, a partner from the firm’s New York office, defected to the Antitrust and Trade Regulation practice group at Sheppard Mullin. [Market Wired]
* Lawyerly Lairs, China Edition: Raymond Li, chair of the Greater China practice at Paul Hastings, just purchased a townhouse for about $95 million. He paid for it in straight cash, homie. [Wall Street Journal]
* They’re extremely tardy to the party, but if the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar gets its way, law schools will be subject to random audits of their employment stats. [ABA Journal]
* It’s a tough job that “can really beat you down,” but an organization called Gideon’s Promise just made it a whole lot easier for law students to secure jobs as public defenders in the South. [National Law Journal]
* Despite the fact that the overall demand for legal work was down by five percent during the first nine months of the year, law firms still raised their hourly rates. Hey, what can we say? Math is hard. [Am Law Daily]
* After instructing his lawyers not to speak during what he called a “sham sentencing,” Whitey Bulger received two life sentences plus five years. Don’t worry, the appeal won’t be a sham. [National Law Journal; CNN]
* Attention c/o 2015: the New York City Bar Task Force is considering throwing commercial paper out the window in favor of administrative law. Something something arbitrary and capricious. [New York Law Journal]
* What is law school for, aside from collecting gigantic mountains of non-dischargeable student loan debt? Apparently it’s for creating a more meaningful life, because with poverty comes clarity. [WSJ Law Blog]
* In the very near future, you might need a license to conduct business with virtual money like bitcoin. The Brothers Winklevii are probably already preparing their paperwork to file. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Parties in the greenhouse gas cases before SCOTUS have agreed to trim the number and length of their briefs to reduce the number of times “go f@ck yourself and die” is written. [Blog of Legal Times]
* The latest patent reform bill up for debate promises that it will put an end to the trolls by forcing them to do more work before filing suit. If only it were that easy to keep the trolls at bay. [National Law Journal]
* Do the hustle, and blame it on Becca! A jury has found that Bank of America is liable for selling defective mortgages, and the potential penalty could be up to $848 million. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Since the law was puff, puff, passed, lawyers in Washington State have politely asked their Supreme Court if and when they’ll allowed to smoke weed and represent clients that sell it. [Corporate Counsel]
* Class certification in the Alaburda v. TJSL lawsuit over allegedly deceptive employment statistics has officially been denied. We guess that all good things must come to an anticlimactic end. [ABA Journal]
* Another law school gets it: the U. of St. Thomas will its freeze tuition at the low, low price of $36,843, allowing students to pay a flat fee for all three years of education. [Campus Confidential / Star Tribune]
* If you’d like to ace your law school interviews (which apparently are a thing these days), it helps if your personality doesn’t inspire ritualistic seppuku. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
* Michael Skakel, the Kennedy cousin convicted of killing, was granted a new trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel. Getting away with murder? Aww, welcome to the family, Mike! [Washington Post]
Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), Above the Law will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will be back in full force tomorrow.
* Justice stops for no one, not even a broken Congress. With the end of days approaching quickly for federal courts in terms of funding (or the lack thereof), many judges are lashing out and declaring all their employees essential. [National Law Journal]
* Legal expenses can be especially “painful,” even for the biggest of banks, but sadist firms like Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss, and WilmerHale are really getting their rocks off on Jamie Dimon’s suffering. [DealBook / New York Times]
* DLA Piper’s future’s so bright it’s got to wear shades — and appoint a new co-managing partner in New York City, its largest office. Congratulations to Richard Hans, you’ve co-made it! [New York Law Journal]
* “It’s not just about me.” Jim Tanner, a Williams & Connolly partner who represents Jeremy Lin, is leaving the firm to start his own sports management business, and he’s taking people with him. [Bloomberg]
* “I have no apologies to make about anything I did.” Steven Donziger of Chevron/Ecuador infamy will be defending himself in court this week in what’s being called a legal cage match. [Wall Street Journal]
* “Touro is asking a judge to declare the school a diploma mill.” Irony alert: Touro wants Novus University Law School, a school supposedly conferring “worthless law degrees,” to be stopped. [New York Post]
* If you think SCOTUS abused its discretion in the early abortion cases, you’re going to love this book (affiliate link), a “cautionary tale” about consequences of decisions like Roe v. Wade. [Wall Street Journal]